Free GUI 3D Game development?

spooky
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Post: #1
Hi,

A long while ago I posted a question on this forum about free gui game development engines. I haven't been able to get back to the topic for some time (family bereavement) and now can't find the post that I made. My query was this:

we teach (on a very limited budget) multimedia to post 16 kids at a local college. we'd love to be able to help them make protoypes of some of their game ideas (at the moment they only draw them and make some basic 3D models). We cannot get involved with programming as their is little scope in the curriculum and resources become an issue. We are however, very well versed in Photoshop, after effects, director, flash etc.

I was wondering if there was a free game engine available that would allow our student to create playable levels by simply creating and importing graphics from photoshop and 3d models from MAX, lightwave etc?

the aim is not to turn them into game designers (although it is a long term aim of ours to get into game design) but to allow them to realise some of the ideas they come up with. most of the kids are from poor families and don't have access to the internet even so resources are an issue for them also.

does such an engine exist for MacOS? One that doesn't require any in depth programming knowledge as such?

when I last asked this question someone replied and pointed me to a site where they were developing something along these lines. the site asked for people to get involved but when I emailed then I didn't get a reply.

a lot has happened since then and as you can guess I no longer have any record of them

if anyone could help out I would be very greatful.

If I'm totally talking nonsense and such a possibility doesn't exist then please forgive me - I'm a total newbie to the world of game making!
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w_reade
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Post: #2
iGame3d or Dim3, perhaps? I've never used either myself, though...
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Post: #3
I'm surprised igame3d hasn't responded to this... he was here a minute ago. Anyway, take a look at the iGame3D site to see if it's of any use to you. I don't know any more about it than w_reade, but it appears to require scripting and it looks quite impressive (see the screenshots!).

Another thing which springs to mind is Breve. Again, there's a weird scripting language to learn, but you can do quite interesting things with it. There's a nice flocking demo supplied, as well as one of a strange creature which evolves the ability to walk.

In either case you end up having to write potentially complex scripts, so they may not be useful for teaching to young kids or those with short attention spans. I can't think of any more immediate products, unfortunately.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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spooky
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Post: #4
Thanx guys,

I'll check them out.
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Post: #5
I thought about it overnight, and a couple of other things came to mind:

Blender is a modelling program with a built in game engine of sorts. By all accounts it's a bit wacky and it has a fairly terrible user interface, but the demos suggest that you can do interesting things with it.

Finally, VRML may be of interest to you. The only VRML player for Mac OS X that I've found is Cortona, but I haven't tried it myself. It's in beta, so it might not be in full working order but it could still be worth investigating. In terms of scripting, VRML might be the simplest solution, but it's probably the most limited too.

If you find anything really good, or if any of the tools that have been mentioned happen to work well for you, let us know!

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Post: #6
Quote:Originally posted by spooky
when I last asked this question someone replied and pointed me to a site where they were developing something along these lines. the site asked for people to get involved but when I emailed then I didn't get a reply.

a lot has happened since then and as you can guess I no longer have any record of them

if anyone could help out I would be very greatful.

If I'm totally talking nonsense and such a possibility doesn't exist then please forgive me - I'm a total newbie to the world of game making!


Surprised this topic snuck past me, damn the Safari bug!

Would this be that letter?

Quote:Next semester, I am going to teach game programming as a special topic in Computer Graphics programming.I want to test beta version of iGame3D only for the academic instruction. Thanks.


I replied to that one, and 50 or more others...pretty sure I've stayed on top of the public relations.

I've been updating the interface, adding features, making things up as I go, and Tobi's been adding engine fixes, and assorted new powers to the engine over the summer.
If it wasn't for the dev diary here and in the engine itself I'd not know what happened to summer.
See the diary here, you will understand what I mean.

Documentation right now is the weak link, everyone whines and cries about that, and since the application is a work in progress, subject to change, I'd rather spend my time progressing the application than writing, editing, and re-writing and re-editing a manual that will be obsolete the day after tomorrow.
Especially since I never read manuals (I bet most of your students won't either!)

Well back to the point, if your class would like to try it, let me know and I'll get you something for them to try.
I'm guessing you are on Macs, and I hope you are in OS X, we gave up OS 9 support months ago.

If you are on PC's we can get you a version for that too, but, I have no idea what actually goes on in the PC version, heard it runs well..

If you happen to know anyone who is interested in writing a manual for a free 3D game design app...send them my way, I can co-write, an co-edit, but its too easy to get turned around when going through that dark wilderness alone.

Ok get back in touch, email through here, or our site, or post your "game" plan over at our forums.
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Post: #7
Quote:Originally posted by igame3d
I'm guessing you are on Macs, and I hope you are in OS X, we gave up OS 9 support months ago.

If you are on PC's we can get you a version for that too, but, I have no idea what actually goes on in the PC version, heard it runs well..

Bill -

What is igame3d written in? How are you developing cross-platform? Are you writing in C/C++ and writing the platform/gui code twice (once for each platform?) - or are you using a cross platform library like wxWindows <http://wxWindows.org> or Revolution <http://runrev.com/> or something like that?

cheers, Codemattic
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Post: #8
Tobi writes the engine in C, compiles it into an external, a player application, and the screen saver module is in cocoa I think. I do the interface which is attached to the external in Runtime Revolution.

Don't have to to do the interface once for Win, and once for Mac, but I certainly do remodel the interface over and over as I find a new way to do things in Revolution, which either makes or takes up room, works well or doesn't.

Then of course there is the inspired moments when I just make up some new thing, which may or may not work well, and may or may not stay in the interface for more than a day or week. Like I have a temporary mesh file save /loader right now tha just uses filenames like 1temp.mesh, 2temp.mesh, without involving the directory requester or input of a file name but after a month I'm thinking of pulling it......or maybe have it work automatically ever 5 minutes or so.... shrug

I have only been using Transtalk since ..begginning of June I think, somedays I have the mojo, some days I don't.
I get most of my work done when my daughter goes to bed, so I'm up passed 3AM a lot and burned out several days a week, especially if have an especially successful night...through to dawn.

And thats the life of a software developer newb.
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Tobi
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Post: #9
The engine itself is cross-platform except for input reading and timing. So there is only very few platform-dependent code for Windows and Mac OS (X). With very little effort you could port it to Linux and whatever too.
Drawing is done through OpenGL and sound via FMOD 3.7.
Texture loading is done through QuickTime on the mac and pnglib on the PC. The problem with that is that the windows games can only use PNG textures while mac games done in iGame3D can use any format QuickTime supports. Also QuickTime allows to import movies as texture animations like GIFs or MOVs. On Windows you need a picture sequence of PNGs.

The engine scripting language is the same on both operating systems, so you can just plug your level made on your mac into the PC iGame3D folder and play it.

-Tobi
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Post: #10
well you guys are two clever eggs!

Tobi - why cant you use the windows version of quicktime to import graphics formats other than png? Or do you not want to require the user has qt installed?

Keep up the good work. Loved running around in the Vampire demo too!
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Tobi
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Post: #11
Quote:Originally posted by codemattic
Tobi - why cant you use the windows version of quicktime to import graphics formats other than png? Or do you not want to require the user has qt installed?


That's it! I could hardly convince a pal to install QT to do movie conversion on his PC. Lots of people seem to hate QT and won't try games or other software that requires it. I might switch to DevIL or something else so we support other formats than PNG on windows.

Quote:Keep up the good work. Loved running around in the Vampire demo too!

Yeah, be sure to check out the next demo, it will be much more fun!!

-Tobi
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